A secretary cabinet

A friend shared a video concerning a 200 year old
German desk. After watching the video I had to
learn more, and did. Turns out there is quite a
story surrounding this piece of furniture.

It is made with oak, pine, walnut, mahogany,
cherry, and cedar wood. It is veneered with curly
maple, burl maple, and mahogany. And marquetry using
maple, hornbeam, apple, walnut, mulberry, tulipwood,
rosewood, ivory, mother-of-pearl, gilt bronze, brass,
steel, iron, and silk.

It stands 141 3/8 inches tall, 59 7/8 inches wide,
and is 34 5/8 inches deep. It is arguably the most
expensive piece of furniture ever made selling for
around 20,000 rubles in 1779. It has so many
mechanical parts that open drawers, raise a safe, and
lower and easel, plus makes music, and contained a
clock that chimed on the hour.

It was created by David Roentgen, and as you might
guess, not many where sold. The Berlin secretary
cabinet was produced in three variants and the video
contains an example of the last.

The last variant was sold to three major European
rulers of the day; Duke Charles Alexander of Larraine,
King Louis XVI of France, and King Frederick William
II of Prussia.

Considering this piece was made before power tools,
it would be hard to duplicate today. We believe this
particular cabinet is in a museum in Berlin. All we
can say is, this is an amazing piece of history.
Comments are always welcome.


2 Responses to A secretary cabinet

  1. Grumpa Joe says:

    It is nothing like my secretariat. Mine is very simple, has no hidden drawers, and doesn’t play music. That thing has got to be a million dollar piece.

  2. cruisin2 says:

    Grumpa Joe,
    I know the feeling. Used to think we had some antique pieces until we saw this.

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